Make sure that visas are genuine, Indian mission warns UAE jobseekers
Dubai - Recently, the Delhi Police had arrested two persons for allegedly running a syndicate of supplying fake visas.
Following the arrest of two persons over duping 17 Indians, who were deported for coming into the UAE with fake employment visas in 2017, the Indian mission in Dubai has warned jobseekers to check their visa status with Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) when in doubt.
Jobseekers can also verify the status of their visas on the Amer website (https://amer.gdrfad.gov.ae/visa-inquiry) or the labour department of the Consulate-General of India in Dubai ahead of their travels, said Consul-General Vipul.
Recently, the Delhi Police had arrested two persons for allegedly running a syndicate of supplying fake visas. The accused have been identified as Javed Ali, a resident of Uttar Pradesh's Kushinagar district, and Manoj Kumar Sharma from Delhi, said a PTI report.
The police had received complaints filed by immigration officials, wherein it was alleged that on April 8, 2017, 17 Indians were deported from the UAE as all were found using fake employment visas, deputy commissioner of police (IGI Airport) Sanjay Bhatia told PTI. The immigration officials got the alleged employment visas verified from the UAE Embassy in India and found all visas fake, the DCP said.
However, given the influx in victims of visa frauds, the consulate had also issued two advisories in 2017, Vipul said.
"One was regarding people who come into the UAE on visit visas and get stuck here as the promised job never materialises. Second, there have been a few cases of Indians travelling on so-called 'employment visas' that were essentially 'visit visas' changed on an image editing software," said Vipul.
In both cases, agents take huge sums of money from victims. "People must check the status of their visa before travelling. It is very easy," said Vipul. The visa statuses can be checked on the Dubai Tourism website as well. The consul-general encouraged residents to go to the PBSK and the labour section of the consulate to confirm their status. According to the him, return tickets of jobseekers on a visit visa are sometimes cancelled in the last minute so agents can save money. "They hold the return tickets till they board the flight, and cancel once they have landed here in the UAE," he explained.
During the investigation, all passengers were interrogated when they disclosed that the visas were provided to them by one Javed Ali who took Rs1 lakh (Dh5,261) from each passenger, he said. Later, it was disclosed that Ali was advertising for easy UAE employment visa in Kaptanganj city in Uttar Pradesh and induced the public at large. He was arrested on April 17 from his village, Bhatia said.
During interrogation, Ali disclosed that in connivance of his two accomplices Prince Yadav and Manoj Kumar Sharma, he provided fake visas to 17 people, all residents of his neighbourhood villages. On his instance, Manoj was also arrested, the DCP said. The police are looking to nab Prince, who prepared the fake visas, he added.
However, Vipul said in the last two-three months, no big visa fraud victim groups from the UAE has been repatriated. "About three to four months ago, a big group of Odiya workers, approximately 35-40 individuals, were repatriated by our labour department," said Vipul. He explained given the rise in these cases, the consulate is now working in tandem with the Protector of Emigrants (POE), Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, to take strict action against fraudulent agents, said the consul-general.
Tips of how to identify and avoid UAE visa fraud
>Use the services of reputed travel companies. You have no chance of getting tricked if you go through such companies
>Check reputation and background - If you are going through an agent, which is not advisable, make sure you do a thorough reputation and background check because in most fake visa cases, it's the agents who are responsible
>Beware of Social Media - on social media sites, you will come across many people advertising really cheap rates for UAE visas, but do not go through them. You can make enquiries, but check for their reviews on Google and other trustworthy sites, then you'll get a clearer picture
>Visit www.amer.ae - you need to go to the 'General Inquiry' page and enter some details, such as your visa number, date of birth and other information that is mentioned on the visa. After you submit that information, you will be told if your visa exists in the system. If your visa is genuine, the website will show your visa status and expiry date.
>Use GDRFA Dubai app - There is a special option in this app called 'Visa Inquiry' that tells you if the visa is genuine. You need to fill in some details that are mentioned on your visa. If it's genuine, the app will display your visa status and expiry date.
>Call PBSK on 80046342